March 9, 2021: Mars marches eastward in Taurus. Find it high in the west-southwest after sunset.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 6:12 a.m. CST; Sunset, 5:51 p.m. CST. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
Mars continues its eastward march through Taurus. Find the Red Planet high in the west-southwest after sunset. It is to the upper left of the Pleiades star cluster, a small bunch of six or seven stars. Together the stars catch your view from the corner of your eye.
Mars is the reddish star immediately to the upper left of the cluster. Another red star, Aldebaran (“the follower”) – the brightest star in Taurus – is a little farther to the left of Mars.
This evening Mars is above an imaginary line that starts at Aldebaran and goes to the Pleiades star cluster.
With a binocular the star cluster and Mars are still in the same field. The planet is 0.3° to the lower right of 37 Tauri (37 Tau) on the chart.
The window to see Mars is open for a few hours during the evening. The view settles lower in the western sky as the night continues, setting over 6 hours after sunset.
Here’s more about Mars during 2021.
Read about Mars during March.
Detailed Note: Forty-five minutes before sunrise, the crescent moon (25.7d, 16%) is about 7° up in the southeast. Saturn – nearly 8° up in the east-southeast – is 7.9° to the upper left of the lunar slice. At this hour, Jupiter – nearly 4° up in the east-southeast – is 9.1° to the lower left of Saturn. Fifteen minutes later, Jupiter is over 6° in altitude. Mercury is 3.5° to the lower left of the Giant Planet. Use a binocular to see them. One hour after sunset, Mars is high in the west-southwest, 4.0° to the upper left of Alcyone and 9.6° to the lower right of Aldebaran. Use a binocular to spot the planet with the starfield with the Hyades and the Pleiades. Mars is 0.3° to the lower right of 37 Tau, and above a line from Alcyone to Aldebaran.
Read more about the planets during March 2021.
September 14, 2022: Three bright planets and the moon are visible overnight. The moon is near Uranus before daybreak. The Sickle of Leo is in the eastern sky before sunrise.Keep reading
September 13, 2022: Contrary to Internet memes, Mars will not appear as large as the moon when the Red Planet is closest to Earth. Overnight a planet display with Mars, the moon, Jupiter, and Saturn arches across the sky.Keep reading
September 12, 2022: Mars continues its eastward trek with Taurus. Overnight, Saturn, Jupiter, the bright moon, and Mars put on an exhibition that stretches across over half the sky.Keep reading